The Turkey Drive

Every year, Sacred Heart University’s Student Government hosts the Turkey Drive, an event held as a way of giving back to the local Bridgeport community. The event is typically held the Tuesday before Thanksgiving as Student Government members meet at St. Charles Church early in the morning to hand out turkeys to families in need.  However, for the first time in nine years the event will not take place due to COVID-19.

Last year, Student Government raised $17,834, pushing their $12,000 goal, with 277 donors. 

“We handed out over 700 turkeys to the Bridgeport community. Low-income families, families living below the poverty line, families on food stamps, and anyone within the Bridgeport community that would not be able to afford a Thanksgiving meal are provided one through the Turkey Drive,” said Maisy Carvalho, Student Government’s Vice President for Public Affairs and Spectrum staff writer. 

“The Office of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning is holding their annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, collecting non-perishable foods to be given to the community along with the turkeys,” said Vanessa Parillo, Student Government President. 

The organization makes it a point to mention on Sacred Heart’s website that “should this campaign exceed the goal, Student Government will determine if it should utilize the funds to assist additional families or to support future mission-based service initiatives.” 

This year with the event not being able to take place, following this statement, the remainder of the money raised from 2019 has been used to donate 400 turkeys this year despite the drive being canceled. 

“With the generous donations of donors last year from the SHU community, family and friends, we were fortunate to have exceeded our fundraising goal,” said Parillo. 

In place of Student Government members delivering the turkeys, Carvalho made it a point to thank ShopRite in Milford, who will deliver the turkeys to the church. The church will then hold a drive-by, during which families can pick up their meals.

COVID-19 has taken away the face-to-face experience these families have every year, and it has affected those who are members of Student Government as well. 

“This is an event that everyone on campus loves so much, and it was really hard to come to the understanding that it would not be happening as grand as years prior, but we are grateful to still be able to contribute to this tradition,” said Carvalho.

To learn more about previous and upcoming events Student Government contributes to, visit For additional questions on how you can help, please call 203-365-4801 or email

Facebook: @SHUstudentgovernment

Instagram: @shustudentgov

Twitter: @ShuStudentGov

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